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Dubai hopes to attract more tourists with new visa system

Posted on Aug 19 2014 | IANS

Mumbai, Aug 19 : Dubai hopes to attract more tourists after regulatory changes to the United Arab Emirates' (UAE) visa system which are expected to have a transformative effect on the city's cruise and medical tourism sectors.

"This positive announcement of the new visa system will have an encouraging impact on the attractiveness of Dubai as a destination for those overseas visitors who plan on travelling in and out of the UAE - on a cruise ship, or by taking a short break into neighbouring Oman and Saudi Arabia," said Hamad bin Mejren, executive director, business tourism at Dubai's Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM).

"The announcement will have a significant impact on cruise tourism in the Arabian Gulf. With Dubai being the only home port for many international cruise lines operating cruises in this region, the advantage of simplifying visa procedures will reduce the costs for each passenger and further boost the sector's growth."

According to DTCM, the new ruling in the UAE's visa system which took effect on Aug 1, 2014 will make travel between UAE and nearby countries easier for travellers who need to make multiple stops whether by air, land or sea.

DTCM added that the new multiple entry tourism permit for cruise passengers is more affordable at 200 dirhams (USD 50) which previous regulations made the cost significantly higher, for countries including India, China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil.

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